Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad turns 93: Happy Birthday, Sir


July 10, 2018

Image result for Happy Birthday, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

Malaysia– Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad turns 93: Happy Birthday, Sir

Imran Khan

@ImranKhanPTI

Corruption of Malaysian PM Najib Razak was the major reason Mahatir came out of a 15-year retirement to win elections despite attempts by Najib govt to manipulate the same. Congratulations to Mahatir & the people of Malaysia.

Malaysiakini was four-years-old when Dr Mahathir Mohamad had stepped down as Prime Minister in 2003 at the age of 78.

Never did Malaysiakini, which was born out of the flames of Reformasi in 1998, foresee that when the news portal turns 19 this November, Mahathir would be prime minister again.

The medical doctor from Kedah, who would celebrate his 93rd birthday on July 10 has proven that nothing is impossible in the art of politics and that age is not a barrier to accomplishments.

Thousands of wishes have been pouring in since this morning following a posting on social media regarding his birthday tomorrow.

Image result for Happy Birthday, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

Malaysiakini‘s wish for his birthday is that Mahathir, whom Malaysians have entrusted to lead the nation once again, would not disappoint their aspirations for change and betterment.

On that note, Malaysiakini would like to take this opportunity to wish Mahathir Happy Birthday and present him with a short account from our journalist Annabelle Lee, who had just returned from a vacation to Australia.

by Annabelle Lee@www.malaysiakini.com

‘Imran Khan hopes to hit a sixer like Dr M’

“Mahathir Mohamad!” Shrieked the Pakistani cab driver in Melbourne when I replied that I was from Malaysia.

The driver, who introduced himself as Murtaza, then rattled on for several minutes about his admiration for the nonagenarian.

“Imran Khan always mentions Mahathir in his speeches as well,” he added in reference to the Pakistani cricket-hero-turned-politician.

Keeping a close tab on the political developments in Pakistan in the run-up to its July 25 general election, Murtaza revealed how Imran, who is the opposition leader, and Pakistanis, in general, have been inspired by Malaysia’s 14th General Election results.

Murtaza is hoping that Imran who would be able to emulate Mahathir and convince Pakistanis to vote for change in the coming polls. Another cab driver in Melbourne of Pakistani origin, whose name I cannot recall, had also sang praises of Mahathir at the mere mention of Malaysia.

On numerous accounts, Imran has labelled Mahathir as one of his role models.

In an interview with a local newspaper, Imran referenced Mahathir to justify the need for a clean leadership to sanitise a corruption-ridden political system.

“This is why I give the example of Mahathir Mohamad, who changed Malaysia with the same political class by giving them clean leadership,” he was quoted as saying.

After Pakatan Harapan’s victory in the May 9 polls, Imran took to Twitter to congratulate Mahathir for winning despite attempts to “manipulate” the election by ousted premier Najib Abdul Razak’s administration.

He also accorded Mahathir’s return to politics to “corruption” by Najib.

To Women the World Over– We Love, Admire and Respect You


March 8, 2018

End Male Dominance Forever

Image result for happy women's day

On Occasion of International Women’s Day, I want to join you in your struggle against all forms of discrimination against women. You are smart, well educated, gusty and beautiful. End Male Dominance forever and do my late Mother a favor. Keep fighting for what is right, just and decent.

Image result for Dr. Kamsiah Haider

Dr Kamsiah Haider at her Specialist Dental Clinic, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I am proud that my beloved wife,  Dr. Kamsiah Haider has always to stood up for her rights with passion and commitment. I never had any problem with her strong belief in equality for women.–Din Merican

Mariam Mokhtar on Tun Dr. Siti Hashmah Mohamed Ali


February 25, 2018

Mariam Mokhtar on Tun Dr. Siti Hashmah Mohamed Ali

http://www.malaysiakini.com

Wife. Mother. Grandmother. Sister. Aunt. Cousin. Friend. Pioneer.

Although many Malaysians harbour mixed feelings about her husband, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali is both loved and respected.

Marriage to a politician cannot be easy, especially one as active as Mahathir. Yet their marriage has proven both stable and enduring, despite the sacrifices that Siti Hasmah, her husband and their family must endure.

Image result for tun dr siti hasmah mohd ali

YAB Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohamed Ali–A Model of Probity

The public normally sees a perfectly coiffed woman, dignified and unruffled. Despite the pressures of being married to the nation’s longest serving prime minister, she has always balanced the rigours of his office and the demands of the nation with those of her growing family. Other women would have suffered a nervous breakdown or been more demanding, but Siti Hasmah is too cultured for that.

She was one of the first Malay woman doctors in Malaya, and the first woman to be appointed a medical officer in the Kedah civil service. She likely gave up a full-time career to support her husband in his political position. By then, she was already famous in her own right for championing causes like family planning, women’s health and drug abuse control.

Image result for tun dr siti hasmah mohd aliMalaysia’s Lady of Grace and Honour with Her Love

In January, the Shah Alam convention centre was filled with shouts of “Hidup Tun!” when Pakatan Harapan’s Chief Secretary, Saifuddin Abdullah, announced Mahathir as the coalition’s prime ministerial candidate.

The crowd got to its feet, applauding and chanting his name. Mahathir stood and bowed to acknowledge and thank his supporters.

But amid the jubilant cries and noise of celebration, one woman was quietly shedding tears, shoulders hunched and head bowed so that no one could see her face.

Many might have concluded that Siti Hasmah was feeling a surge of emotions over the fact that Mahathir still retained his charm. The truth only emerged a month later, when she said in an interview with Oriental Daily News that she had been emotional because Mahathir was “going for a second round” at 93.

She said they were no longer 56 and 55, as they had been when Mahathir first became prime minister in 1981.

Siti Hasmah will turn 92 in July. Mahathir, who is a year older, must share his wife’s struggles. Nevertheless, he is determined to finish the unresolved business of rebuilding Malaysia before resuming his retirement and having a well-deserved rest.

Anyone who has been on the campaign trail knows that it is strenuous work. Many younger men struggle, but Mahathir’s stamina surpasses the imagination of most.

Today, his speech may be slower than it used to be, but his rejoinders are still strong. He may look smaller, fragile and more wrinkled, but his trademark wit and sarcasm remains. His policies may once have divided the nation, but even those who were affected have been spellbound when meeting him in person.

One man said, “I was ready to confront him and ask him about his controversial policies, but I came away hypnotised. He was so convincing. He spoke calmly and in such a matter-of-fact way that he completely disarmed me.”

Another person said, “At least he has the gumption to take on this battle for the hearts and minds of Malaysia. It must be grueling work. To speak off the cuff. To answer the questions. To travel from one ceramah to another. To be prepared for every eventuality, like the time some ruffians set off flares. Mahathir is not a young man, but he manages, with apparent ease.”

At a time, when he could be enjoying the solitude of his books, the company of his grandchildren and the hospitality of his friends, Mahathir feels it his responsibility to lead Malaysia.

He deserves our support to rebuild Malaysia, but his last battle royal in truth hinges on the support of his wife, Siti Hasmah.

Mariam Mokhtar is an FMT columnist.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

Malaysiakini’s Person of 2017 is…


January 1, 2018

Malaysiakini’s Person of 2017 is…

http://www.malaysiakini.com

POLL | Over the past 17 years, Malaysiakini has without fail named a top newsmaker as we bring the curtain down on the year.

A newsmaker is defined as “someone whose actions make news headlines, who effects the course of public discourse and creates an impact in Malaysian politics, for better or worse”.

Malaysiakini has nominated 12 candidates for the Newsmaker of 2017 award. A total of 1,614 participated in the seven-day poll. They voted by indicating their preference for each of the nominees – 0 being the lowest and 10 the highest.

And here’s their verdict – the Newsmaker of 2017 is a man no stranger to controversy.  He was runner-up to the Newsmaker of 2016, which went for first the time to an acronym – MO1, or Malaysian Official 1.

This year’s newsmaker is former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, a man loved by some, hated by many.

At 92, he continues to hog the headlines and has come out of retirement – did he really retire? – to spearhead the campaign to oust his protégé-turned-nemesis, PM Najib Razak, from power.

Mahathir has straddled Malaysian politics for the good part of four decades and the nonagenarian is not calling it quits anytime soon. There is even talk about him returning as prime minister should the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan emerge victorious in the upcoming general elections.

Given his omnipresence in the country’s political landscape, it is not surprising that Mahathir is a four-time winner of the award. He was Newsmaker of 2005 (joint winner with Rafidah Aziz), Newsmaker of 2006 and Newsmaker of 2015.

In second place is Najib, who took home the award last year through his namesake, MO1. MO1 is an acronym used by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in its civil suit to recover US$1.7 billion in assets allegedly tied to corruption at Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

The lawsuit, dubbed as the largest ever case brought by DOJ’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, was an attempt to seize assets allegedly bought with “stolen” 1MDB money, among them luxury properties in New York and Los Angeles, Monet and Van Gogh paintings and a Bombardier jet.

The DOJ filed a fresh suit this year and added a few more items to their seizure list – among others, a superyacht, a slew of million-dollar diamonds and rare artworks. It said a total of US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB, a fund Najib established in 2009 and whose advisory board he chaired.

No 3 on the list is a “person of interest” in the 1MDB scandal, a term used by US law enforcement when referring to someone who is involved in a criminal investigation who has not been arrested or formally accused of a crime. He is none other than Jho Low, an associate of Najib and the alleged mastermind in the alleged “heist” of 1MDB’s billions.

A flamboyant mover and shaker over the past decade, Low has since gone into hiding and is reportedly dividing his time between Equanimity – the luxury superyacht sought by DOJ, which often seen in international waters off Phuket – and a top hotel in Shanghai.

Next on the list is Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor – the woman who likes to be called the First Lady of Malaysia (Flom), and who is also known as Mrs MO1. She is said to be a lover of luxury handbags and for all things bling.

DOJ has alleged that at least US$27.3 million (RM110 million) of 1MDB money was used to buy a 22-carat pink diamond pendant and necklace for “MO1’s wife.”

No 5, 6 and 7 on the list are three Malaysian women of substance – Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, parliamentary opposition leader, Siti Hasmah Ali, devoted wife of Mahathir and Ambiga Sreenevasan, ex-Bar Council chief and Bersih coordinator.

They are followed four other key personalities. In the last spot is Jamal Mohd Yunos, the Sungai Besar UMNO leader who is feted by his party for his publicity stunts, but clearly not a man very popular among Malaysiakini readers.

Here’s the full list:

 

Mahathir Mohamad, from PM to opposition leader–13,772 points


 

Najib Razak, also known as MO1 or Le Crook–12,105 points


 

Jho Low, confidant of MO1–10,702 points


 

Rosmah Mansor, allegedly Mrs MO1–10,653 points


 

Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, parliamentary opposition leader–10,605 points


 

Siti Hasmah Ali, devoted wife of former PM Mahathir–9,923 points


 

Ambiga Sreenevasan, ex-Bar Council chief and Bersih coordinator–9,203 points


 

Pastor Pastor Raymond Koh, abducted and fate unknown–8,900 points


 

Dzulkifli Ahmad, embattled MACC chief–7,690 points


 

Zakir Naik, controversial Islamic preacher wanted in India–
7,594 points


 

Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, deputy prime minister–6,592 points


 

Jamal Ikan Bakar Mohd Yunos, Umno leader aka sledgehammer–6,191 points


Top 10 news of 2017 – Malaysiakini readers’ choice

And Malaysiakini’s most popular commenter is…

Previous newsmakers

2016 – MO1

2015 – Mahathir Mohamad

2014 – Passengers and crew of MH370 and MH17

2013 – Rosmah Mansor

2012 – Ambiga Sreenevasan

2011 – Bersih supporters

2010 – Ibrahim Ali

2009 – Teoh Beng Hock

2008 – YOU

2007 – VK Lingam

2006 – Mahathir Mohamad

2005 – Joint award – Rafidah Aziz and Mahathir Mohamad

2004 – S Samy Vellu

2003 – Husam Musa

2002 – Zainuddin Maidin

2001 – Rais Yatim

Happy 2018 to All


December 30, 2017

Happy New Year to All

Thank you for visiting my blog in 2017 and for your interesting comments. Looking forward to your support in the coming year. Although I have not met most of you, you have enriched my life with your views and ideas. Kind regards from Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican

P.S. This is my favorite tune, sung by Sammy Davis Jr. It has kept me alive late into the night throughout the years blogging. This blog is  a decade old. It has been a labour of love and most satisfying when I know that  it has attracted 24 million + hits.

 

A Little Satire is good for the weekend: AliBaba Aficionado 1


December 10, 2017

A Little Satire is good for the weekend: AliBaba Aficionado 1

by R. Nadeswaran

SATIRE | The following is the welcome address by AliBaba Aficionado 1 (ABA1) at the emergency caucus meeting of “AliBaba and the 40 Thieves” held in a cave in a Southeast Asian country this week:

This is not a political meeting. So I will dispense with the formalities. As Head of the Brotherhood of Thieves, I have bad news. We can no longer rely on the people we had previously relied on. Some are cracking up and soon, they will be singing like canaries. Like the 159 business leaders housed at the Ritz Gardens in Riyadh which has been turned into a prison, some of you will turn over or be turned over.

Our turn may have come. The law is closing on us. Sorry, the law is closing on me. I can run but I can’t hide. You are accessories so I don’t think they are interested in you. You are only foot soldiers who carry out my orders. I will not squeal on you but I will have to seek protection for my wife. I sometimes wonder if anyone would speak up for her or save her.

The paintings have been returned, the properties were seized and some jewellery surrendered. My wife is aware “they” know about the pink diamonds but I am worried that she will go berserk if they attempt to confiscate them.

Image result for ali baba and the forty thieves

Yes, 2017 is not a year on which I shall look back with unadulterated pleasure. It has turned out to be my annus horribilis.  A series of unfriendly events have taken place and the crackdown by authorities around the world has caused us a lot of discomfort, distress and loss of sleep.

Periodically, when the coast appears to be clear, the governments of certain states drop “bombs” unannounced and we have to set our damage control operations in motion. Even our neighbours have not been too helpful with the timing!

Two days ago, some American lawyer described one of our citizens as a kleptocrat and its effects have been reverberating from the Atlantic to our shores. A few of our die-hard supporters have become victims – dumb-founded, caught flat-footed and mostly ignorant.

Our usually dependent propaganda unit has run out of lies and deceit. The guys who were put in charge have failed miserably. All they could do was to scrap the bottom of the barrel and say that the lawyer does not know what he is talking about!

Do you expect the people to believe them? The cyber-troopers whom we spent millions have no clue how these issues have to be addressed.

Our Mr Money Bag @ Fei Chai is not with us, which should tell you a lot. In fact, he is scared of setting foot not only on our shores but any landfall in the world. Hence, he is taking to the high seas to avoid arrest. With the most beautiful girls and the best champagne, he shouldn’t be complaining!

On a more serious note, the lifeline of our operations – money – has been slow in coming. Fei Chai’s non-appearance is reflected in your goodie bags. No more gold bars and other glittering stuff. There’s not much to take home. Perhaps some gold coins, some sterling, euros and greenbacks and a few other odds and ends.

Money is tight

Previously, as head of the congregation, when I call for summits like this, there’s plenty to pass around, but not this time. Many governments are keeping tracks on Fei Chai and his activities. His close associates have abandoned him. He can’t even transact any financial dealings. Even his proxies are under watch.

A few years ago, he wired a couple of billion into my account. When one American journal published the details, I thought they will back off after I threatened to sue. Instead, they challenged me. I had to retreat.

Then, I told everyone that the money came from a friendly party in the Middle East. My No 2 even went to extent of announcing that he met the donor. But he couldn’t even tell a lie properly because his bluff was called.

Image result for The Penang Born Chinese Arab

One of the Delegates to the Emergency Caucus meeting of “AliBaba and the 40 Thieves” 

This claim debunked and I was caught with my pants down when they produced documents showing the money trail through financial institutions in four countries before it came to my account. It caused me quite a few anxious moments when I met up with my golf buddy in the US on a recent visit.

Banks around the world are watching the movement of money. Fei Chai, members of my family and many of you have been designated as “persons of interest” by central banks of some countries. Hence, if you have overseas accounts, be prepared to offer some explanation as to the source of your funds.

Let me remind you that not far from where we have assembled, there are about 5,000 people attending another congregation where more is spoken than done. They have no love for any group or any leader. They have converged, hoping to reap the rewards – cash, contracts, projects and even one-night stands – at an annual meeting where everything including loyalty, allegiance and commitment are traded. Even principles, ethics, integrity and conscience are bought and sold at a premium to the highest bidder.

Despite having their hands tainted, some are making excessive demands with the backing of dissidents. I have already heard the Cow-in-Condo woman beating the war drums and the lavatory cleaner wanting to be installed as chief minister. Some other minions have come out with bird-brained ideas but as I said, there’s not enough loot to contain their lofty and ambitious ideas.

I have said it before and is worth repeating – cash is king. But right now, cash is tight. Old friends who benefited are washing their hands off. And there’s not enough to appease everyone. Any idea, plan or suggestion to assist me in escaping my predicament will certainly be welcome.

The above is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

https://www.malaysiakini.com/columns